Orange is the New Black season 5 episode 4 review: Alison Abdullah, her husband and their wife

Orange is the New Black Alison AbdullahWith the list of demands written out, the ladies of Orange is the New Black are ready to get the ball rolling, but they might have a few obstacles in their way. For one we saw Judy King try (and fail) an escape attempt, but if they lose her, they lose all their bargaining power. Also, Caputo and the other guards are luring the inmates into opening up the door to the room they are being held in, so that they can take back control of the prison. If either of these things happen, the ladies will end up with nothing.

The guards are ready to attack the prisoners when they come to serve them dinner, but when Caputo sees that Linda is trying to blend in with them he forces the guards to abort the mission. While all the chatter with the guards is going on, we find out that it was Gloria that took the gun from Daya, exposing Daya’s lies to everyone. After a struggle from all the inmates, Angie ends up with the gun, which shifts the dynamics in a very interesting way since she’s not really interested in making changes at the prison, she just wants to get high and have fun. With that in mind Angie decides to wield her new found power into hosting a talent show – Litchfield’s Got Talent, but with guards. This was some silly fun that the show has been sorely missing (shout out to Luschek for making us spit our coffee out in laughter with his terrible stand up).

Someone we have been wanting more backstory on is Alison Abdullah and finally we are getting it. We have seen other reviews of this episode floating around online and Alison’s story has been fairly muted in them. We don’t know if that’s because other reviewers aren’t as interested in her story as we are or if it’s because her story focuses on a Muslim background which is a hot topic right now. Either way, we aren’t going to shy away from it, because we like the Alison character and have wanted to know more about her for some time now. Outside of prison she is married with a daughter, but because of how busy their lives are she is pushing for her husband to take another wife since their religion allows for it. He doesn’t want anyone outside of Alison after living with a father that had three wives and seeing that it comes with a lot of headaches he doesn’t want.

After pushing for him to have an open mind about it, they eventually find a woman that they both agree on, but when the new wife starts pushing “cutesy princess” ideas on her daughter (and seeing how close her daughter and husband are getting to this woman) her original views on having another wife change. It’s not just about bringing in another wife to take on some of the household duties, this is another person with thoughts, and feelings who is now part of the family unit. It was an interesting inside look into what Alison’s thought process was behind her husband having multiple wives and what the reality actually is when sharing your husband with someone else.

As it turns out Alison isn’t the only person dealing with “other woman” issues in the prison. Before heading to prison, Sankey gave her man permission to have sex with her best friend as long as they kept it private, but she learns that their relationship has gone very public. This woman even had a princess cake for Sankey’s daughter (like Alison and her husband’s second wife) – something that both women feel very strongly against. Although these two have a lot more in common then they may want to admit to, their stories never crossed and it was a moment that we were desperately hoping would happen. We don’t expect miracles of understanding, but even a fleeting moment of understanding would’ve been amazing to see.

We are four episodes in this season and we are having some issues. It mostly stems from some of our main cast members having little to do. Red’s Piscatella witch hunt, Piper and Alex helping Linda blend in, and Nicole and Lorna sitting in the drug room have been the low points because we feel like they are being wasted in the background. While we want to see other people get some screen time we want to see our favorites like Suzanne (who has basically been absent) in the forefront. This episode brought more of our favorites from out of the shadows with Suzanne’s seance to talk to Poussey and Red finding out that Piscatella killed an inmate, but what we really want is something more for Alex and Piper outside of the fact that Linda knows that Alex killed someone. When is Piper going to get herself into trouble like she always does? Episode grade: B+

What did you think of this episode of Orange is the New Black? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts. If you want to check out some more of our Orange is the New Black season 5 coverage (including some more episode reviews) then head on over to the link here. (Photo: Netflix)

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